In this entry I would like to discuss the basic concepts of developing a sound dart throw. The dart throw is nothing if you have not created yourself a good base or stance. If you have not already, I suggest reading my previous entry Dart Basics - The Base.

If you were to watch people play darts, you would quickly notice that there are all kinds of techniques used to throw darts. Some seem very strange, but yet some players can shoot very well regardless of how strange their throw seems. Over the years, I have determined that there is not any one right way to throw darts ass long as the dart can be thrown consistently with consistent results. With that said though, I believe there are a number of details to consider when working on your throw. I think of these as breaking into two main areas. The grip and arm motion.

The Grip

How a person grips their darts has to be the part of the throw that varies the most from person to person. Some people will grip their darts with all of their fingers, others will grip their darts with just two fingers, and others will do some variation in between. The general theory is that the fewer fingers you have making contact with the dart, the less chance there is for fingers to influence the flight of a dart in a negative way. At the same time, you need to have enough contact with the dart to have control of the dart. I tell folks the best way to start is to hold the dart like you would hold a pencil. Another idea is to watch some dart pros and analyze their grips.  Find one or two you like and try to mimic them.

What you are looking for is a grip that feels comfortable and allows for control. If these two are met, generally you should not have to worry about your grip again. The grip may depend upon the style of dart you select too. I will probably write an entry about my thoughts about selecting darts in the future, but it generally boils down to the same concepts... comfort-ability and controllability.

And just to let you know, I actually have what would probably be considered an unconventional grip. I grip my darts with 4 fingers. I have my thumb on one side with my index and middle fingers on the other side of the barrel. Then I have my ring finger kind of tucked underneath with the tip barely resting on it. If I get a chance I will post a picture at some time. Most would say that is too much contact with the dart, but I have become pretty consistent with it and find that I still am making improvements.

Arm Motion

Again, I have seen many crazy ways that darts are thrown, and thrown well. But to me, the arm motion boils down to the simple concept that your elbow is a hinge and does 90% of the work. Your elbow should remain stationary while you are addressing the dartboard and during your back stroke. It also should remain stationary on your forward motion until after you have released the dart, then the elbow should gently rise as part of your follow through. The fewer moving parts during the throw, the fewer points of possible failure.

You would probably hear a lot of people say that you should hold your forearm straight up and down for your throw. This truly makes sense in the concept that your throw would just be straight back and straight forward. But, I have tried this on a couple of occasions and I just find it uncomfortable and tiring. So I actually have a slight tilt in my arm, but still follow the concept of straight back and straight forward. Again, just make sure you have a way to make sure  the tilt is consistent. A lot of people might tend to make their arm very rigid if they try to apply the 'elbow as a hinge' concept. While that might make sense from the fact that a door hinge is rigid, on a person it generally means that the person's muscles are tense. With the game of darts, if your muscles are tense, they are not going to do what you want them to do. The muscles should be as relaxed as possible without losing the hinge concept.

I also tend to make my back stroke rather slow. My thinking here is that with a slow back stroke I am less likely to make errors in the back stroke. In the past I made my backstroke quicker but found myself making mistakes like not pulling straight back or raising my elbow. This is a personal preference, but may be a concept to try if you think your backstroke might be a problem.

Finally and simply, when throwing your dart, always keep your eye on the spot on the board that you want to hit. I like to use one particular analogy when discussing this point. I ride mountain bike on a lot of trails here in Colorado. Some trails can be rather narrow and some have lots of obstacles to avoid. Well, to stay on the narrow trail and to avoid the obstacles I look where I want my bike to go instead of where I don't want to go. You would be amazed how if you are looking where you don't want to go how often that is where you end up going anyway. If your eyes are not looking at your target on the dartboard during your entire throw, the chances of hitting said target greatly decrease.


I hope you have found this useful. Happy Darting and throw well!


re: Dart Basics - The Throw

Sunday, June 3, 2018 8:59:40 AM

This is the best dart advice I have ever seen!!! Just before I read it I had written down "Happy hinge, don't move an inch." I hit 2 double 19s and a single 19 twice in a row with this concept. Then I googled "Hinge concept in darts" and saw this. Thanks. Great stuff.

re: Dart Basics - The Throw

Sunday, June 3, 2018 9:00:41 AM

correction, I meant to say 2 triple 19s and a single 19 twice...

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